The following is a Best of 360Connext post.
As Dr. Phil likes to say, “People do what works.” If it works to ignore loyalty, people will continue to do that.
Consider how most business leaders and sales teams are compensated. It’s all about the NEW. New sales, new clients, new customers. Growth in the market meaning more new customers.
How many incentives are tied to real customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Here are three ways to encourage the people in your organization to care about loyalty from customers.
1. Great Metrics Matter
If you track the Net Promoter Score (NPS) or have your own Voice of the Customer (VOC) metrics, tie bonuses to these results. If the leaders in your organization are only rewarded for acquisition, they will not necessarily see the need to focus on improving these numbers tied to how customers are feeling. Make it count! A word of caution here – if you have no data yet collected, give it time to mature and see what’s average. Only do this if your data collection is mature enough to handle it. And be prepared to hear some backlash. People will stay unaccountable because that’s more comfortable. Accountability over these numbers means understanding what customers go through. Sometimes, the truth hurts.
2. Make Sure The Voice of the Customer Is Heard
It’s easy to ignore surveys and verbatim quotes when they don’t feel tied to real people. While reports and dashboards are helpful, they tend to lose their impact after a while. Inserting a powerful emotional testimony from a real, live customer helps leaders connect with the humanity of the customer experience. Bring in a customer to a monthly meeting to share a story, or ask an executive to connect with a disappointed detractor via web conferencing. It becomes a lot more real when you are hearing about a story from the person who is telling it. (Click to Tweet this!)
3. Feel The Churn
Just as rewards and real-life testimony can help drive the behaviors for loyalty, feeling the pain of a high churn rate can help, too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked the question and heard “we don’t really know” about the churn rate. Make the number of customers leaving you just as important as the number joining you each month, quarter, or year. And then explore what behaviors and actions are driving the number up (bad!) or down (great!).
Understanding how to create and maintain loyalty is a key factor in improving it. Helping your leaders see their roles in it is just as critical.
There may be some resisitance when it comes to tying real employee rewards and compensation with customer happiness and loyalty. But the overall rewards will be long-term customers who will promote your business for you.